PrAACtically December: Some AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary

November 29, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically December: Some AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary

With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the month of December. A few years ago, we suggested that one way to help strengthen learners’ abilities with core words is to take a different set of 12-20 core words each month and focus on them for a few weeks. How? By modeling those words, making resource materials (like word cards with the symbols), creating activities in which those words figure prominently, posting them in the classroom/therapy room, reading books that have heavy use of these words, sharing them with families, write stories using them, etc. Core words are a great addition to the highly motivating, learner-specific words that many AAC users start with. If you are looking to expand to more robust language, this approach may be of interest. Here are the specific words we are focusing on in December. Set 1 (2013): ask, favorite, goodbye, hear, of,... [Read More...]

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A PrAACtical Day of Thanksgiving

November 28, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


A PrAACtical Day of Thanksgiving

grat·i·tude /ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/ noun the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness In the spirit of our American tradition of Thanksgiving, we pause to reflect on our blessings and offer thanks. We’re grateful for: The people who use AAC and their families for all they do to help us get better at this business of supporting communication Service providers in homes, schools, clinics, hospitals, and community agencies The university programs that have a dedicated AAC class, especially if they have a permanent faculty member with expertise in this area Bonus thanks to those that also offer supervised clinical or student teaching experiences with AAC mentorship opportunities or an AAC lab with SGDs, AAC apps, switches, and mounts. The professional and service organizations that support AAC through professional development opportunities, grants, mentorship programs The power of e-communication platforms for the AAC support on listservs, blogs, groups, threaded... [Read More...]

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Fringe Vocabulary: How to Select and Not Neglect

November 25, 2019 by - 2 Comments


Fringe Vocabulary: How to Select and Not Neglect

When we first started writing about core vocabulary, it was partly because most of the AAC systems we came across in our clinical work were heavy on nouns and/or prestored messages. Now that core vocabulary plays a more central role in so many AAC systems, it’s important that we not lose sight of the important role that fringe vocabulary plays for the vast majority of people with AAC needs. In today’s post,  guest author Susan Todd, a doctorate student focusing on AAC at the University of Kansas, shares thoughts and strategies for selecting fringe words. An SLP, Susan practiced for four years in outpatient setting completing AAC evaluations and implementing AAC interventions. Susan is also the author and creator of AACtualTalk, a blog aimed at providing advocacy and education in the area of AAC. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Fringe Vocabulary: How to Select and Not Neglect Core vocabulary gets a lot of attention... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #47: November 2019

November 24, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #47: November 2019

Happy Sunday, AAC friends! It’s been a busy week here in Orlando at the 2019 ASHA Conference, but we still managed to get a few blog posts published. Here’s a recap for those who may have missed them. Monday –  TELL ME About It: AAC Learning with ‘From Head To Toe’ Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: The Critical Nature of Literacy in AAC Thursday – How We Do It: Changing AAC Mindsets & Outcomes ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: While you’re here, check out some of these previously published posts. 5 Ways to Tell If Your Students are Becoming Competent Communicators A Look at PODD Books Using Visual Supports to Bring Music Alive Supports for When Modeling AAC is Hard AACtual Therapy: Use Your Best Spud to Teach Vocabulary With Tanna Neufeld

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How We Do It: Changing AAC Mindsets & Outcomes

November 21, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


How We Do It: Changing AAC Mindsets & Outcomes

As AAC interventionists, we spend a lot of time helping therapists, teachers, families, and others develop their appreciation for multimodal communication and build their skills in using supportive strategies. In today’s post, Deidre Dobbels, a speech-language pathologist specializing in AAC, language and literacy development in young children, shares her thoughts on how we can do this effectively. Deidre is employed by Barrington CUSD #220 in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago in which a Universal Core Approach to Language and Literacy has been in place for nearly a decade. Deidre authored a multi-media early developing core vocabulary curriculum used by her school district as well as by therapists and teachers throughout the Midwest. In her guest post, Deidre talks about her experiences in addressing the AAC needs of young children with complex communication needs. Changing Mindsets, Changing Outcomes As a young Speech Language Pathologist working in Early Childhood classrooms, I was... [Read More...]

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TELL ME About It: AAC Learning with ‘From Head To Toe’

November 18, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


TELL ME About It: AAC Learning with ‘From Head To Toe'

It’s time for another installment of the TELL ME About It series which focuses on AAC, language, and literacy learning with preschool children. Maggie Judson and Jeanna Antrim are back with more great ideas for AAC intervention, this time focusing on the Eric Carle book, From Head to Toe. Maggie and Jeanna are speech-language pathologists who work in the Assistive Technology Department for the Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative (BASSC) in central Illinois. They are AT/AAC facilitators and provide evaluations, direct therapy, consultations, and trainings. You can check out the earlier posts in this series below. I Went Walking Brown Bear, Brown Bear TELL ME AAC Literacy Kits TELL ME About It: AAC Learning with ‘From Head To Toe’! TELL ME About Reading: The third book in the TELL ME program (Teaching Early Language and Literacy through Multimodal Expression) is “From Head To Toe.” We love when books are interactive... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #46: November 2019

November 17, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #46: November 2019

Happy Sunday, AAC friends. Here are some posts you may have missed. Monday – 5 Ways to Build Increased Support for AAC Within an Organization Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Using the AAC Participation Model to Guide Implementation Planning Thursday – How We Do It: A Support Walker Mobility Program for Elementary Students with AAC Needs ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::; Before you leave, sample some of these posts from the archives. “But He Doesn’t Like It!” 5 Things to Try with AAC Learners Who Don’t Like Shared Reading Getting Acquainted with Tarheel Reader AAC on TpT: 5 Free Downloads Reading with AAC Across the Stages of Language Development

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How We Do It: A Support Walker Mobility Program for Elementary Students with AAC Needs

November 14, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


How We Do It: A Support Walker Mobility Program for Elementary Students with AAC Needs

We’re very pleased to welcome back Christine Wright-Ott to continue the series on supporting the independent mobility of children with AAC needs. Christine is an Occupational Therapy consultant at the Bridge School in northern California. She authored the chapter “Mobility” in the 4-7th editions of the book, Occupational Therapy for Children. She lectures at universities and conferences including ATIA, Closing the Gap, ISAAC, ISS, and AAC by the Bay. Today, she discusses the ways she and her colleagues help elementary school students use support walkers. You can read the first two installments of this series using the links below. Part 1: From Wheelchair to Walker: The Cascading Benefit of Hands-Free Mobility Part 2: From Wheelchair to Hands-free Walker for Preschool Children with AAC Needs The Support Walker Mobility Program for Elementary Students with AAC needs  The second post in this series described the Preschool hands-free Support Walker Mobility Program developed at... [Read More...]

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5 Ways to Build Increased Support for AAC Within an Organization

November 11, 2019 by - 1 Comment


5 Ways to Build Increased Support for AAC Within an Organization

In many organizations, the AAC practices of individual therapists and teachers outpace the support for AAC by the larger staff or community. Here are some suggestions for building more wide-spread support for AAC in schools and other agencies.  Take advantage of any requirements to attend mandatory training events. Most school districts have mandatory staff development days, and often, the training provided on those days has little or no relevance to those who do AAC work. Perhaps you can offer a more relevant alternative. Work with administrators to be able to provide AAC training on these days to share information on AAC implementation with teachers, paraprofessionals, and therapists. To get a spot on that calendar, it may take a while to establish rapport and relationships with the leadership team and various department heads but this is time and effort well-spent. Invite administrators, department heads, and committee chairs to AAC-related events on... [Read More...]

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